Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has categorized passage of the proposed National Fuel Ethanol Program as urgent.
The program would mandate an E10 blend—10% ethanol, 90% gasoline—for use in the country.
She made the statement during a recent 30-minute televised roundtable discussion of the government’s ethanol program with Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri (the author of the House version of the proposal) and Seaoil’s Glen Yu.
The bad news is that the days of cheap oil [are] over. The good news is we will not allow ourselves to be held hostage of the surging oil prices. We will not allow the situation to immobilize us.
At this point, fully covering current Philippine market demand with sufficient ethanol to meet the 10% standard would require the import of some 530 million liters (140 million gallons US) of ethanol annually, according to calculations by ED&F Alcohols, a UK-based ethanol supplier.
There are currently no major domestic ethanol plants operating in the country, and the first is due online in 2007. To supply demand domestically for the mandated 10% blend will require some P37.5 billion (US$668 million) worth of investments to set up around 25 ethanol production facilities.